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Congo, Republic of the Economy Profile

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Economy - overview

The Republic of the Congo’s economy is a mixture of subsistence farming, an industrial sector based largely on oil and support services, and government spending. Oil has supplanted forestry as the mainstay of the economy, providing a major share of government revenues and exports. Natural gas is increasingly being converted to electricity rather than being flared, greatly improving energy prospects. New mining projects, particularly iron ore, which entered production in late 2013, may add as much as $1 billion to annual government revenue. The Republic of the Congo is a member of the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) and shares a common currency – the Central African Franc – with five other member states in the region.

The current administration faces difficult economic challenges of stimulating recovery and reducing poverty. The drop in oil prices that began in 2014 has constrained government spending; lower oil prices forced the government to cut more than $1 billion in planned spending. The fiscal deficit amounted to 11% of GDP in 2017. The government’s inability to pay civil servant salaries has resulted in multiple rounds of strikes by many groups, including doctors, nurses, and teachers. In the wake of a multi-year recession, the country reached out to the IMF in 2017 for a new program; the IMF noted that the country’s continued dependence on oil, unsustainable debt, and significant governance weakness are key impediments to the country’s economy. In 2018, the country’s external debt level will approach 120% of GDP. The IMF urged the government to renegotiate debts levels to sustainable levels before it agreed to a new macroeconomic adjustment package.

GDP (purchasing power parity)
$29.39 billion (2017 est.)
$30.33 billion (2016 est.)
$31.22 billion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)
$8.718 billion (2017 est.)
GDP - real growth rate
-3.1% (2017 est.)
-2.8% (2016 est.)
2.6% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)
$6,800 (2017 est.)
$7,200 (2016 est.)
$7,500 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

Gross national saving
19.5% of GDP (2017 est.)
-12.8% of GDP (2016 est.)
6.6% of GDP (2015 est.)
GDP - composition, by end use
household consumption: 47.6% (2017 est.)
government consumption: 9.6% (2017 est.)
investment in fixed capital: 42.5% (2017 est.)
investment in inventories: 0.1% (2017 est.)
exports of goods and services: 62.9% (2017 est.)
imports of goods and services: -62.7% (2017 est.)
GDP - composition by sector
agriculture: 9.3% (2017 est.)
industry: 51% (2017 est.)
services: 39.7% (2017 est.)
Population below poverty line
46.5% (2011 est.)
Labor force
2.055 million (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupation
agriculture: 35.4%
industry: 20.6%
services: 44% (2005 est.)
Unemployment rate
36% (2014 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share
lowest 10%: 2.1%
highest 10%: 37.1% (2005)
Distribution of family income - Gini index
48.9 (2011 est.)
Budget
revenues: 1.965 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 2.578 billion (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues
22.5% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)
-7% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Public debt
130.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
128.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)
0.5% (2017 est.)
3.2% (2016 est.)
Central bank discount rate
4.25% (31 December 2009)
4.75% (31 December 2008)
Commercial bank prime lending rate
14.6% (31 December 2017 est.)
14% (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of narrow money
$2.585 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$2.456 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of broad money
$2.585 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$2.456 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of domestic credit
$3.036 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$2.901 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares

NA

Agriculture - products
cassava (manioc, tapioca), sugar, rice, corn, peanuts, vegetables, coffee, cocoa; forest products
Industries
petroleum extraction, cement, lumber, brewing, sugar, palm oil, soap, flour, cigarettes
Industrial production growth rate
-3% (2017 est.)
Current Account Balance
-$1.128 billion (2017 est.)
-$5.735 billion (2016 est.)
Exports
$4.193 billion (2017 est.)
$4.116 billion (2016 est.)
Exports - commodities
petroleum, lumber, plywood, sugar, cocoa, coffee, diamonds
Exports - partners
China 53.8%, Angola 6.2%, Gabon 5.7%, Italy 5.4%, Spain 5.4%, Australia 4.8% (2017)
Imports
$2.501 billion (2017 est.)
$5.639 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commodities
capital equipment, construction materials, foodstuffs
Imports - partners
France 15%, China 14%, Belgium 12.2%, Norway 8.1% (2017)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold
$505.7 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$727.1 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Debt - external
$4.605 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$4.721 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home

NA

Exchange rates
Cooperation Financiere en Afrique Centrale francs (XAF) per US dollar -
579.8 (2017 est.)
593.01 (2016 est.)
593.01 (2015 est.)
591.45 (2014 est.)
494.42 (2013 est.)
Fiscal year
calendar year

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on Friday, November 27, 2020